Genre: Young Adult, Mermaids, Paranormal Publication.Date March 21, 2012 Pages: 270 Published By: Cresent Moon Press Website Cole Gibsen Breathless on Goodreads My review copy: Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:
Obituary-reading emo girl Edith Small is broken - the end result of forcing herself inside a mold that doesn't fit. All she wants is to conform to her strict sergeant stepfather's rules long enough to make it to graduation day. But a boat accident threatens to unravel the life Edith has worked so hard to keep. After waking up in a hospital with a lacerated shoulder, Edith fakes amnesia. Because admitting she received her injuries from a blue-haired girl who breathes underwater is all the reason Sir needs to send Edith on the first bus to military school. Safe at home, Edith struggles to put the nightmare behind her. But the mysterious creatures that live in the ocean aren't about to let her forget. After meeting Bastin - a strange boy with silver hair and black eyes - on a secluded dock, Edith learns about the war raging undersea to end human existence. A war that Edith, unwittingly, has become the key to winning. In a world where death is an ever-present shadow and motives are as dark as the bottom of the ocean, Edith must decide if her life is worth risking for a love that can't survive past the shore.
Absently, I touched my bandaged shoulder and winced at the biting shards of pain that exploded under my finger tips. Yes, Mom, it hurt-and I relished each agonizing second. The pain reminded me I could still feel-something I thought I had lost a long time ago.
I stared at his reaching fingers and hesitated. His skin was so pale that it seemed to glow in the moonlight. There were a million reasons I shouldn't go with him; he didn't look like a normal teenager, he didn't talk like a normal teenager, and his friend almost ripped my throat out.
The world around me swam out of focus as my breath caught in my throat. Like a computer struggling to download a complex file, my mind locked up, unable to make sense of what he'd said. Bastin thought I was meant for him? How was that even possible? He was a a mythical creature and I was...the kind of girl wore underwear in packs of six.
When you are a Mer fanatic like myself there are certain things you come to expect when you read a book containing the things you love so much. Breathless was both what I had expected and what I didn't expect. Although 270 isn't considered a very long read, Cole Gibsen managed to pack Breathless with tons of emotion. There wasn't a lot of action but that didn't matter because it just wasn't meant for this read and when there was action it wasn't over the top but suitable for the read. What really got me was how spectacularly everything was written and how it just felt right, flowed well.
Normally when I pick up a book containing Mermaids I expect that you will get a glimpse of what their underwater world looks like, that was not the case with Breathless. The story itself focused completely on the land with Edith and her world but with good reason. Saddening as it is there was just no way to include the underwater world with the way that this story was spun but it did add a beautifully made sorrow. Some parts of me wished that it was possible to go below and see Bastin's world but with what would happen I came to a grim acceptance.
I'm not sure if I ever fully connected with Edith and was actually unsure if I was even going to like her to start. I honestly did feel bad for her and the fact that not only did she seem to place her brothers death on herself but her stepfather did as well, but it almost made her come off a weak to start. It was no surprise to me that when everything happened and Bastin showed up at her door that she accepted what he was as easily as she did. When your world is crumbling I think you grasp the not so ordinary and unexpected a lot easier. I was however bothered by how she would be afraid of him one moment and not so much the next moment. Overall I liked Edith but I wanted someone that I loved.
What I really did love is the romance that developed between the two. Though it was what is expected: forbidden. The only difference is that they were both cautious to start and curious. For Bastin it was that the humans were the enemy for polluting their land and the fact that humans were made out to be nothing more than heartless savages. Which I guess there are people out there like that but with Edith he learns that not all of them are. It semi broke my heart that there was no real possible way to make things work or so it seemed. Edith is determined to figure out a way without becoming like the other humans that end up with the Mer's. Another possibility is that they are just meant to be star crossed lovers and nothing will ever come of it.
The person that I feel needs some serious and who brightened up the book for me was Morgan. She ends up being Edith's friend despite all odds and they really work, but why I loved her was that she brought out the better part of Edith. This is not saying that she didn't also cause trouble but she did it because that's just who she was and she knew she could get away with it. She also accepted the Mer thing a little quick but seeing she was so open I kind of let that slid as well. Admittedly when her attraction for the Mer that was more likely to cut you up than befriend you seemed to start to take root, I was more than a little shocked but someone as persistent as her...I shouldn't have been surprised.
Though Breathless may never make it to my favourite Mermaid story list I am glad I read it. It was interesting and different enough to capture a measure of my attention and hope that there is a sequel that ties up some of the loose ends, but from what I have read it is a stand alone... The ending was way too open for my liking with too many unanswered questions. Despite my ups and downs, the frustration, I would pick up the next book or something else of Gibsen's because her writing was wonderful and I enjoyed the dialogue.